No Crops No Future

by María Cuji

Agriculture reeducation for the preservation and conservation of the Waorani community in the Amazonas rainforest 




About the project

The context of project No Crops, No Future involves working in a realistic collaboration and knowledge exchange with the Waorani community around the area of Misahualli Napo in Ecuador.


This project outlines the strategies and methodologies needed to conserve, preserve and protect what we have here and now, and ways to understand, engage and work with land culture and

traditional crafts.



Not only are the rainforests disappearing at an alarming rate, so too are the ancestral indigenous communities, such as the Waorani community, including, their culture, crafts and heritage, and their environment and biodiversity. 


Creating workshops and working closely with communities and protecting the seeds helps with reforestation, preserving seeds that are involved in mass production, and in the process of extinction.


Book cover | No Future, No Crops knowledge exhange.

Mapping Waorany territory.

Biomineral sediments



Biomineral sediments



Biomineral sediments



Chambira drying.


This piece represents the conservation of the biodiversity environment and ecosystem of the community in which I am working using the shapes and sounds of local drying seeds.

This piece itself is a performance that speaks to and engages the younger generation. Through the dance movements. It represents methods of seed distributions and craft-making techniques. Some of the gestures in the interpretative dance performance represent the daily handcrafting and the garment depicts the power of the community, the seeds are fragile but protected.


Chambira fiber.

Knitting with chambira.




The context of No Crops, No Future involves working in a realistic collaboration and knowledge exchange with the Waorani community around the area of Misahualli Napo in Ecuador. 

The knowledge exchange will happen when we collaborate with new and emerging designers, makers, and technologists from Ecuador and other global communities. We will work together to build new solutions incorporating biodiversity, culture, and crafts, learning to protect what we already have, and incorporate new ethical and sustainable principles to enable development without further destruction of the planet. 

maria duotone.jpg

María Cuji

Maria, a designer from Ecuador, moved to the UK in 1997 and established her millinery company in 2008. Having worked closely with the Ecuadorian artisans in their workshops, and understanding the way they work has only helped her develop further skills that she took with her to study Textiles BA and Biodesign MA at Central Saint Martins.


As a multidisciplinary artist and designer. Maria created this piece using the idea of seeds and what needs to be preserved in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and together with the Waorani community, it represents the handmade conservation attempts of my Biodesign approach through engagement with the community and preservation of their crafts.